Palestinian factions call for boycott of PLO parliament-in-exile meeting

Hamas and Islamic Jihad accuse Abbas of tightening grip on power, warn against special meeting.

Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mahmoud Abbas
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Seven Palestinian factions on Thursday called for boycotting the upcoming session of the PLO parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC).
At a press conference in Gaza City, the factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, warned that convening the PNC “poses a threat to the Palestinian national project and a breach of the Palestinian Basic Law.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO leadership called the PNC session to elect new members of the PLO Executive Committee.
The faction representatives accused Abbas of working toward tightening his grip on power with the help of the PNC. They said that they would not abide by any decision taken by the PNC, which is expected to convene in Ramallah later this month.
The factions warned that anyone who participates in the meeting would be “consolidating the divisions among Palestinians” – a reference to the ongoing dispute between Fatah and Hamas.
In a related development, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met on Thursday with PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in Doha to discuss the upcoming PNC session. Sources close to Hamas did not say whether the two reached agreement on the issue.